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Brain power boost – Use your collective company brains trust to improve your hires

Did you know that most companies are tapping into 3% of the brain power of their human capital capability? That is a startling stat.

Assuming this is true in the recruitment and talent (TA) function of your company, imagine how much mental capacity you have to tap into for new ideas and innovation in sourcing, attracting and securing talent for your company.

It is imperative that you take some time away from the operational running of your recruitment and TA function from time to time.

The opportunity to take a breath, away from your day to day work environment, allows you to consider how your recruitment and TA function is performing, not only operationally but also strategically, in line with your company’s overall strategic plan.

How to tap into more than 3% of your company’s brain power

In pragmatic terms, the opportunity to step away and review your recruitment and TA function allows you to:

  1. Review “Where are we at?” today, operationally and culturally, in meeting the company’s overall strategic plan. Are the people we employ and engage (eg permanent staff, freelancers, contingent workers etc), helping our company to meet its strategic and operational objectives?
  2. Re-acquaint yourself with the bigger picture. If the Head of Recruitment and TA does not have a seat at the Executive table, are you fully are of what your company is trying to achieve and the skillsets it needs to meet those objectives?
  3. Explore the question, “Does our recruitment and TA approach align with the company’s goals, objectives and values?”
  4. Determine whether your current operational approach to recruitment and TA is aligned with our company strategy

Now assuming you are indeed only tapping into 3% of your company’s human capital, stepping away from your company operations (for a day or even a half day), presents a valuable opportunity to improve that percentage – accessing more brain power means generating more ideas to improve the way you source, attract and secure top talent.

Brainstorm and innovate with a diverse range of company stakeholders

Whilst it is always tempting to have a day off site with just your recruitment team, I would encourage you to consider including people from all parts of your company in an effort to “disrupt” and innovate in your current recruitment and TA approach.

Remember, diverse points of view are really important to create a balanced perspective and to consider new and innovative ways to attract the right talent for your company.

Listening to a diverse range of viewpoints provides unique and innovative ideas to improve your recruitment and TA function. It is VERY important for all voices to be heard – not just the loud ones!

Top Tip: Consider setting up an innovation team BUT be careful that individual ideas are not lost. Individual ideas are shown to result in disruption.

Key questions for an effective recruitment innovation workshop

EVERY company should take time to review their recruitment and talent acquisition performance to ensure that functionally and operationally, you are “heading in the right direction”.

Taking time out (whether that is on site or off site) for a strategic session where there are no phone calls, no social media binging and no email disruptions, is paramount to optimising this session. All you need for the session is brain power and a creative and open minded focus on how you can disrupt or improve your current recruitment and TA model.

With a continuous improvement and innovation mindset, here are some questions you can ask the group to get the conversation rolling:

  • How can we reduce the time, resources and attention currently required to bring talented people into our company? That is, how can we hire more efficiently?
  • What do we need to stop doing? Brainstorm the activities that you are currently undertaking that are adding little value to sourcing, attracting, hiring, onboarding and monitoring the performance of new employees.
  • What should we stop or reduce doing as part of our recruitment process. Acknowledge that you have limited time and resources to implement and execute new, innovative and more effective activities to hire better quality candidates.
  • What do we need to expand way beyond our competition? This should be candidate focused. ie what services can we provide to candidates that will blow our competition away?
  • What innovative process changes can we make? Have we got the data we need to understand how we are performing against our competitors (ie benchmark time to hire, retention rates etc)?
  • What can we do to create an exceptional candidate experience for candidates moving through our recruitment process with our company, to stand out from our competitors?
  • You want candidates to perform at their best at interview, not bomb because they are ridiculously nervous and don’t know what to expect from the interview. How can we improve our candidate briefing process before they interview with us so they feel prepared and will interview with us at their most confident?

Limited resources and prioritisation

Sure, we would all love to have infinite resources, technology, tools and capability to act of every innovative idea we think will make a difference to attracting top talent. But in reality, this is not possible.

Here are some key questions to ask yourselves when prioritising any changes you would like to make to your recruitment and TA processes and methodologies:

  • What change should we attack first? What is the highest priority based on the results we think we can get from each change?
  • What have we got capacity to action right now which will deliver some quick wins?
  • What will we do later?
  • How will we measure the results of each change we make?

Top Tip: To encourage ongoing innovation in your recruitment and TA process, consider creating ways for employees to offer ideas for disruption.

For example, every now and again, take over the front page of your intranet or company information sharing tool and ask for ideas on how the company can improve the recruitment and TA process to secure the very best talent.

The impact of disruption on your recruitment and TA function

Digital disruption is impacting the rate of change in every sphere of business. Don’t allow your recruitment and TA function to fall behind.

Here are some practical ideas for keeping your collective minds open to changes in your approach:

Have peripheral vision, be agile and adapt quickly

Incubate new ideas and be able to implement quickly (eg demonstrate velocity). If your recruitment and TA function needs to pivot a little, do it. Explain to your Executive team and employees why you are innovating. 

Don’t box people in

Don’t create processes, procedures and practices that impede people making suggestions for improving your recruitment and TA function.

Employ positive disruptors in your recruitment and TA team

Look for those who will challenge the status quo and offer creative and disruptive ideas that may improve elements of your process and thus lead to better hires.

Embrace innovation and failing fast

Yes, this feels uncomfortable. Afterall you are trying to create a consistent approach for all candidates who move through your company recruitment process right? But innovate or die.

Where candidates are open to providing feedback at interview, ask how your process compares to others they have been involved in. Tweak activities in your recruitment and TA approach to improve the candidate experience.

Better yet, send every candidate a simple Survey Monkey questionnaire (whether they are successful in securing a role with you or not), to learn more about their experience with your recruitment process.

In addition, if you have a TA methodology in place (eg you stay in touch with talented candidates who may be future employees via LinkedIn or a monthly digital newsletter), regularly survey them as well to see if the content you are providing them is providing them with value.

Consider automation to cut down on repetitive and manual processes where possible

Automation can improve the candidate experience when used appropriately. But, make sure you don’t automate components that are better delivered by humans.

Look for ideas and innovation in other sectors

Most disruption comes from those companies outside your industry sector. Read widely, talk with influencers in other sectors and listen to reputable podcasts to hear people in other sectors talk about how they are disrupting their own recruitment and TA approach. 


Imagine if you could tap into another 10% of the brain power within your company to better source, attract, recruit and onboard talented individuals more effectively. Asking your employees for innovative and disruptive ideas to improve your recruitment and TA function is the key to staying ahead of your competition.

Readily accept ideas for innovation and change in your recruitment and TA function. If you have the luxury of time, introduce innovation one change at a time. That way you can measure the effectiveness of each change and its impact on securing more talented people to join your company.

Alternatively, completely flip your recruitment and TA process on its head with informed feedback from the brainpower of those within your company. It’s competitive out there.

Flex your innovation muscles to stay ahead of the competition and secure the very best people who will help your company thrive.

Further Reading and Resources

Scott Hamilton Hire Power Radio – Disruption will impact your business and it is coming faster than you think. Are you prepared? (PODCAST)

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